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New Chinese airlines welcomed at Cebu airport

Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu – A ceremonial water cannon salute welcomed the arrival of two new Chinese airline partners – Juneyao Airlines and Okay Airways – at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on November 1.

About 110 passengers from Shanghai and 180 passengers from Xianyang were aboard the inaugural flights of Juneyao Airlines and Okay Airways, respectively.

About the flights

Juneyao Airlines and Okay Airways began mounting thrice-weekly flights to Shanghai Pudong International Airport and to China’s historic city Xianyang, respectively.

Juneyao Airlines is a major full-service airline based in Shanghai, operating both domestic and international services from Shanghai Hongqiao International and Shanghai Pudong International Airports. Cebu is the first Philippine destination in which the airline operates.

“Cebu is the second largest city and they have lots of opportunities and chance to establish a long-term cooperation with Shanghai and Cebu, so that’s why we chose Cebu as our first destination,” said Steven Zhou, Cebu station manager of Juneyao Airlines.

Meanwhile, Okay Airways’ Xianyang-Cebu-Xianyang is its second flight service in the Philippines. Tianjin based OK Air is China’s first privately owned Chinese carrier.

“The market of Okay Airways is more on the tourists and Cebu is a destination near the cities where there are many tourist spots as well,” said Jo Zablan, OK Air’s Airport Service Manager.

According to GMCAC President Louie Ferrer, destination marketing is their main strategy in strengthening Cebu’s connectivity.

“Promoting the province and its surrounding areas to other Asian countries, especially China, is among our highest priorities,” said Ferrer. “Studies have shown that China is the highest spending tourist market in the world – we want to bring this high-spending Chinese market to Cebu.”

GMCAC is also looking to promote Cebu to other untapped markets, which includes other provinces in China, Australia, while other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand are also high on the list. Ferrer confirms the company is also targeting new flights to North Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.

MCIA will also launch new flight services to Beijing and Bangkok, and more domestic flights in the succeeding months.